Randa is a young Auckland based beatmaker/rapper who's been picking up a following over the year for her perfectly simple pop-culture inspired tunes. Set to play BANG! this weekend in Auckland, we caught up with her over email for a quick chat about how she started out, her new Lunch Box EP and the local music scene...
Hey, how’s things?
Is Randa you’re real name or just a stage name?
My birth name is Miranda, my older brother started calling me Randa when I was nine. I was really into the movie Friday and wanted to be Chris Tucker. Every time my older siblings threw house parties, I would rock my SaveMart threads and dollar shop chains, then breakdance for all the teenagers. Randa seemed like a good nickname.
What first inspired you to get into making music?
The idea of having another creative outlet to tap into.
What drew you to beat-making/rapping particularly?
It was noticing rap artists and producers representing a more alternative vibe. I realised rap didn't have to sound a certain way, there were no limitations. The freedom to speak about anything in any context was really attractive. The Odd Future Tape 1 really got me, tracks like 'McDonalds', super unorthodox and fun.
Pop culture seems to be a central focus of your music...
Yeah ever since I was a kid I was intrigued and consumed by popular culture. It all seemed like this really colourful escape. When I go to write a song, the references just spill out.
What releases/artists have you been getting into this year?
This year I've been vibing out to The Jet Age Of Tomorrow albums, 'Ardour' by Teebs , 'Electric Hawaii' from Opossum, Tyler, The Creator. I've also been playing a lot of classic material from artists like David Bowie, particularly 'Aladdin Sane'. I'm really diggin' on work which is strong in a conceptual sense.
You released an EP back in June – tell us about this...
I began juggling around ideas for 'Lunch Box' back in February, the first thing I made was the cover art. It was created out of impulse on Photoshop so I decided to based the EP off it. The first rap I wrote was for 'Fish Sticks Skit'. I finished most of the beats around May, and then recorded the vocals with my Macbook and a condenser mic in June.
Talk us a through a few of the tracks and the story/inspiration behind them...
'Las Vegas Sunset' - This track is about a mentally ill 36yr old man who live's in his Momma's basement. He kindnaps a girl he met online, panics, then drives to Las Vegas.
'Brave New Galaxy' - The inspirations behind this song ire all the 80s adventure films I watched growing up, intertwined with the ideas of love and outer space.
'Dr Phil' - This was written out of a stream of consciousness. It's also inspired by the days I stayed home sick as a kid, watching Sally Jesse and other talk shows, good times.
How is your live show coming along - do you enjoy performing live?
The live show's coming along really swell. Each performance I gain confidence, and have heaps of fun vibing out with different crowds.
What else have you got planned...
I'll be playing 'Radio Friendly' at Mighty Mighty club in Wellington on Thurs 27th September.
I'm working on a heap of new beats and lyrics at the moment too, the plan is to put out an EP in the Summer.
What are you thoughts on the Auckland/ New Zealand music scene right now?
I think the music scene right now is really cool and interesting. I lived overseas for a good chunk of 2011, so it was great coming home and seeing how diverse everything was. Everybody has their own style going on and it's really reflective in the music being put out.